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Teaching in diverse classrooms to me is being afforded the opportunity to expand my learning. I understand that my values and beliefs are not law, therefore to become educated about other cultures, their values, and their beliefs opens my thinking to view circumstances from multiple perspectives. All families, regardless of their diversity, go through positive and negative experiences. Observing how diversity anchors itself within cultures, it is my goal to provide every family with a supportive environment that stands on principles to raise standards and expectations.
I want for the children and families I serve the same as I would want for my own. Living in a community, a society, and a world that is dependent upon us to take care of it, it is only befitting to be aware of the similarities and differences between those who live in it. This awareness will, in turn, develop people that are cognizant of their actions towards one another.
The many views on immigration have affected education in that teachers are spending more time comforting, counseling, and repeating rather than engaging their students in activities to support their development.
Anxiety and absenteeism are increasing, and academics are suffering. It’s difficult maintaining a sense of optimism when students are unsure if their parents will still be home upon their return. Not only is it affecting those who are undocumented, but their friends as well. When looking at how these views affect families with young children, it creates uncertainty that produces an unstable foundation for the growing child.
Acculturation is a process that has the probability of bearing many outcomes. It is imperative for a teacher to maintain integration instead of assimilation, separation, and marginalization. The purpose of this strategy is to support children’s home culture as they foster a new way of life. I’ve always taken into consideration the way people feel. Therefore, as it relates to acculturation in the classroom, it is beneficial to understand that although our intentions suggest good, they can sometimes undermine a student’s motivation with academic consequences. As teachers become more culturally aware of who they are and who the students are, they will become more knowledgeable of how they influence the students they teach.
Ideas I have about acculturation in the classroom consist of providing social-emotional, environmental, and cultural supports. For example, establishing and following regular routines so children will feel comfortable and confident that they know what to do and when will boost student’s social-emotional development. Labeling materials, learning areas, displaying wall posters in each family’s language will reinforce the environment. Integrating children’s home cultures and family practices into everyday routines and learning experiences promote support of all lifestyles. One shouldn’t have to think too hard to be respectful. While recognizing and reconsidering our cultural values and beliefs may be challenging, it influences our understanding of how to build classrooms where all students and families feel respected, find instruction appropriate, engage with new challenges, and commit to success.
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